4.1 Lab: Wireless Messaging

It's time to send some data over the air! Get ready with all the required material:

  • 2 Digi XBee.
  • 2 XBee Explorer.
  • 2 Type-A USB to mini-USB cables.
  • 2 computers.

As you can see you need two of each of the elements. This is going to be much more fun is there is also two (or more) people involved.

First of all you must install the X-CTU software and the VCP drivers for FTDI in the computers if there are not installed.

(There are native X-CTU applications for mac and windows. In linux, there is the option to run an older X-CTU version using wine. There is linux native application "moltosenso")

Plug your XBees into the explorers, and connect each explorer to one of the computers. Fire up Digi's XCT and configure the serial port. Revisist the guide for the details of installing and running the XBee if needed. Use the test button to make sure that XCTUs are communicating with the XBees.

Click on the modem configuration tab and flash one of you XBees as a coordinator and the other one as a router. Then move to the terminal tab and start wirelessly messaging. Observe how the LEDs flas when data is sent and received.

And, if you have more XBees, explorers and PCs, make sure that everyone joins the party!

Activity: Connect different XBees. Send messages to each other. Use the special "broadcast" and "to coordinator" addresses. Create a bigger network working together with other teams. Discover the meaning of the RSSI LED in the XBee Explorer. Use your imagination to do something different.

Don't forget to apply for the badge when you are done!

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